Clean and refinish can of worms

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  • MTplinker

    Junior Member
    Dec 30, 2021
    86
    Annapolis
    There must be a zillion opinions (or at least 3?) about restoring/cleaning/whatever you want to call it when it comes to vintage mil-surp rifles.

    One camp- don’t do anything to it, ever. Leave it exactly as it was. Second camp: it’s fine to restore it to exactly how it looked when it left the factory/ arsenal. Make it pristine. Third camp- hey it’s yours do whatever you want.

    My situation is that not surprisingly the K31 I picked up is beaver chewed for about 1 to 2 inches near the butt of the stock.

    It’s a Beech stock from 1954 that matches the manufactured year per the serial number. The serial numbers match all around. This is a post WW2 weapon that appears to be in excellent mechanical shape with strong rifling and a shiny bore.

    It doesn’t look like it’s ever been restored or fixed up. Looks like it’s been in a closet for 40-50 years after the original soldier it was issued to quit hauling it out on maneuvers.

    My intent is to go shoot it in vintage turnbolt military matches. I don’t want the butt to disintegrate (e.g. at the toe) and require stock repairs. There’s already gaps between the butt plate and the wood.

    Practical standpoint- Making it prettier won’t make it shoot tighter groups AFAIK.

    So, I’ll open the can of worms. Clean up the stock or not?
     

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    Doco Overboard

    Active Member
    Butt probably waterlogged at times from being set into the snow/left to dry maybe punky at worst.
    If your going to shoot it you might as well make sure its right.
    Conservation and preparing it for firing is different than turning it into an abortion.
     

    Blacksmith101

    Grumpy Old Man
    Jun 22, 2012
    17,668
    Remove the but plate and see what it looks like.

    There are a variety of products for Wood Stabilization depending on what the problem is you will need to do some research to figure which is best for your specific application. Many of them require infusing them under a vacuum you can make a vacuum chamber big enough for a stock out of PVC pipe.

    Google Wood Stabilization and start reading.

    Also start looking for a used stock of the right date to return it to Original condition in case you ever get rid of it.
     

    Melnic

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    Dec 27, 2012
    12,996
    HoCo
    I guess I"ll put it out there, IF you refinish or repair, you lower the value instantly. what is the difference in lowering the value with something now, vs lowering the value after you get a crack and repair it.
    Can he remove the butt plate and then put some sort of load distributing spacer gasket or something to reduce the probability of a stock crack and yet leave it so it can be put back together in original form.
    Or maybe a simple slip on recoil reducer to buffer the impact on the stock?
     
    Jul 1, 2012
    5,103
    Another option would be to find another stock so you can shoot it with confidence, and preserve the current one.
    Don't do anything else to it other than clean/oil (standard maintenance stuff). A little patina is a good thing.
     

    teratos

    My hair is amazing
    MDS Supporter
    Jan 22, 2009
    45,401
    Bel Air
    Another option would be to find another stock so you can shoot it with confidence, and preserve the current one.
    Don't do anything else to it other than clean/oil (standard maintenance stuff). A little patina is a good thing.

    That was my first thought! Then I searched for stocks…
     

    Biggfoot44

    Active Member
    Aug 2, 2009
    24,438
    I was intrigued to see a stock chewed by Beavers , but this wasn't it . I once had a stock chewed by a dog , and wanted to see what a Beaver could do .

    The speculation of water/ snow damage is plausible and likely .

    Remove the butttplate and check the wood underneath . If called for , do appropriate wood stabilization .
     

    mpollan1

    Fvck Joe Biden
    Sep 26, 2012
    1,757
    Мэриленд
    I was intrigued to see a stock chewed by Beavers , but this wasn't it . I once had a stock chewed by a dog , and wanted to see what a Beaver could do .

    The speculation of water/ snow damage is plausible and likely .

    Remove the butttplate and check the wood underneath . If called for , do appropriate wood stabilization .

    I was intrigued to see the beaver butt a lass it was not to be.
     

    noddaz

    bonehead
    Jan 9, 2014
    398
    Arnold
    No right answer here.

    It's a 68 year old rifle. It is also YOUR rifle. Do what you want. Just don't tell anyone here what you do. :lol2:
    Also I really don't expect you to be thumping the rifle butt on the ground and yelling "hoo-rah!" after a good round of shooting.

    noddaz
     

    mawkie

    C&R Whisperer
    Sep 28, 2007
    3,896
    Catonsville
    -I'll give you another option. In the past I've done business with Andrew Zink of Augustus Fine Antiquities in Switzerland. Andrew used to always attend the MACA show in Timonium in March. I bought a nice K31 stock from him for a great price in the years before COVID. Drop him a line and see if he's planning on attending this year's show. If he is and he has a stock available you could arrange to pick it up at the show as Andrew has always shipped over inventory for the show, including long arms (visit him if he's at MACA this year, I guarantee you'll find at least one cool item to throw money at).
     

    MTplinker

    Junior Member
    Dec 30, 2021
    86
    Annapolis
    Another option would be to find another stock so you can shoot it with confidence, and preserve the current one.
    Don't do anything else to it other than clean/oil (standard maintenance stuff). A little patina is a good thing.

    I'm with you; I think stuff in the realm of standard maintenance ought to be fair game. It also is practical in that it allows continued use.
     

    MTplinker

    Junior Member
    Dec 30, 2021
    86
    Annapolis
    Also I really don't expect you to be thumping the rifle butt on the ground and yelling "hoo-rah!" after a good round of shooting.

    noddaz

    Ah, it seems word of my shooting prowess has spread far and wide if it's reached this esteemed forum. ;) Maybe I'll have a lot of good strings, and I'll struggle to refrain from bashing my rifle's butt on the ground.

    Unless you're implying that I won't put up any good groups at all, and that I've got nothing to worry about....
     

    MTplinker

    Junior Member
    Dec 30, 2021
    86
    Annapolis
    I was intrigued to see a stock chewed by Beavers , but this wasn't it . I once had a stock chewed by a dog , and wanted to see what a Beaver could do .

    The speculation of water/ snow damage is plausible and likely .

    Remove the butttplate and check the wood underneath . If called for , do appropriate wood stabilization .

    Bait and switch; beaver chew = click bait.

    I pulled the butt plate and the wood looks nice, clean and dry underneath. This gray stuff looks cosmetic on the peripheral, maybe 1/16 to 1/8 inch deep discoloration when you're looking at the bare butt. (see more click bait)

    (Legal disclaimer, no beavers were used / harmed in the making of this thread.)
     

    Threeband

    The M1 Does My Talking
    MDS Supporter
    Dec 30, 2006
    21,210
    Carroll County
    I seriously doubt that stock has been compromised.

    I think that's pretty standard discoloration on Swiss rifles. Apparently they like to stand around with their rifle butts resting on the snowy ground. Then they kick the stocks with their hobnail boots, yodel a bit, and go milk the cows.

    It's an old rifle, but apparently in decent condition. I'd like to see some more photos of the overall rifle.
     

    MTplinker

    Junior Member
    Dec 30, 2021
    86
    Annapolis
    It's an old rifle, but apparently in decent condition. I'd like to see some more photos of the overall rifle.

    Can do. Here you go Threeband.
     

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